Bovina Comedia

The adventures of Napoléontine – a wise French cow – start with a premonitory dream warning her that farmer Fred is about to take her and her hoofball-loving soulmate, Jules, to the slaughterhouse. Jules tells her she’s paranoid and wants to stay put. Since Napoléontine is pregnant and she wants her little calf to live, she takes French leave, borrowing a rusty bicycle the farmer had left behind in the stable.

Having given birth to Hathorinella the holistic way, after being chased out of a meadow by Zany Phobia (a rather racist cow), Napoléontine encounters Serendipity, a bilingual Irish cat who is an heiress of sorts. Serendipity readily invites her new best friend and daughter to occupy the vacant barn at the Normandy cottage she’s inherited from her late mistress who was English.

Meanwhile, at the other side of the Channel, a bunch of bulls destined for the chop have a lucky escape thanks to the feisty intervention of a group of  ladies on an outing in the Sussex countryside. The ‘Swinging Knitting Needle Club’ members adopt one bull each. But one solitary kilt-wearing bull is left standing on the empty market place. Thanks to the timely intervention of his guardian angel, MacNelson is adopted as a mascot by English pop star Paul MacHamFamoose, champion of the animal cause. And since Paul was just on his way to his newly-bought country retreat in Normandy – which happens to be next door to Serendipity’s cottage –MacNelson falls head-over-heels in love with Napoléontine.

Wooing her will mean learning enough French and playing his bagpipes in front of her market stall where Napoléontine is endeavouring to tempt the French to tuck into her healthy home-made vegan fare.  After a rather difficult debut, she gets discovered by Bob-the-Monk, a Scottish television producer, who invites her to present a vegan cookery show on his channel, the TTC (which stands for Total Truth Channel).

In order to help her friends reach their goals, one evening, Serendipity organises a workshop on creative visualisation. She also teaches Napoléontine the Metamorphic Technique, which consists of a gentle massage of the spinal reflexes on the feet, hands and scalp – so simple even a five-year-old can do it. Napoléontine and Serendipity use a willing MacNelson as a guinea pig.

From her side, Napoléontine teaches her calf Hathorinella and the latter’s best friend Zac, how to use meditation to enhance one’s well-being.

Bob The Monk thinks our friends’ suggestion that the TTC should produce a bilingual French-English version of Napoléontine’s meditations in audio form is a genius idea, since this will enhance both children’s and adults’ well-being in an entertaining way, as well as giving the young ones an opportunity of becoming bilingual in the process (while having fun!).

TOME I ends with a visit of the whole troupe to the eccentric Erik Satie Museum in Honfleur, at the invitation of Bob-The-Monk.


Hathorinella rescues a homeless piglet who was about to drown himself.

Napoléontine gladly adopts Jung who dreams of becoming a photographer and intends to open a “five star hotel for homeless piggies” with the proceeds of his success.

Napoléontine, who has developed a passion for every aspect of holistic healing puts together a workshop about the Bach flower remedies for her animal- and human friends.

Hathorinella, who started off dreaming of becoming a flautist, gets inspired by her zany mum’s ballet antics to write the libretto for the world’s first ecological ballet, “Rigoletta” to the music of Verdi’s Rigoletto.

As for MacNelson, it is while the whole troupe is in London (courtesy of the TTC) that his unrequited love for Napoléontine is soon forgotten when he meets his true soulmate, a little Japanese cow called Minolta.

Jung, normally brash and bold, is a rather shy piglet when it comes to the whole dating affair. He asks Napoléontine to make him up a mixture of Bach flowers in order to remedy this.  After that, it’s plain sailing for him. And at the opening of his photo exhibition at MoMA in New-York, he does meet his Miss Piggy, Nahéma, an African aspiring wildlife photographer who dreams of helping to save the gorillas’; orangutans’ and chimpanzees’ habitat, in the footsteps of her heroines: Dian Fossey, Jane Goodall and Lone Drϕscher Nielsen.

Zac and his parents, – Anaïs, who is French and Tom, who is a sociology professor of African American descent – have to go into exile, but it’s all in the name of a good cause and exile in London has its good sides.

The grand finale of their adventures is the première of Hathorinella’s “green” ballet Rigoletta at the Paris Opera Garnier.